Instant Gratification!

User Rating: 8 | WarioWare: Touched! DS
It took me a while to get to this game. Even at $30, DS games aren't what I consider cheap, and I like to get as much mileage as I can out of a game. Eventually, though, I just had to see for myself what all the fuss was about with WarioWare.

Reading IGN's review was, I believe, the first time I'd seen the term "micro games," but it certainly is fitting when describing the collection of toys you get to tinker with in Touched! The game opens with a completely ridiculous scene of Wario having tooth trouble. The dude makes his way for the dentist and, as he's roaring down the road on his hog, you riff through a quick set of these micro games.

The micro games are simple templates in which you are required to perform some type of touch-screen action(s). Many of the actual screen actions are the same but always feel fresh due to the scenarios they're set in. And that's pretty much it – that's WarioWare Touched! in a nutshell -- but it's enough to make the package quite fun and entertaining. In addition, however, there are some side options, such as filling a couple of virtual toy rooms with trinkets collected throughout the course of the game, and this aspect of Touched! adds a nice flavor of novelty to a game that's...well, built on novelty.

Actually, the game is built on funk. The entire WarioWare experience is a mess of funkiness and, though the micro games are great fun, the game's presentation is what ties it all together into the quirky, almost cult classic that it aims to be.

Now, after you complete Wario's opening set, you'll unlock two more character scenarios; after completing their sets of micro games, you'll unlock more characters and so on and so forth. The overall game is kind of short, but it's a healthy package, all the same. Surprisingly, I found replaying scenarios to be quite fun. Others have said that once you've played through Touched!, that's it – there's no reason to go back – but I found that not to be the case. Having Touched! in your DS is like carrying around a backpack full of your favorite toys, and the game will keep you entertained pretty much anytime you're on the go.

Unfortunately, however, aside from the obvious touch-screen interaction, the game does almost nothing else to distinguish itself from a Gameboy Advance (GBA) title. There's a short 3-D-graphic scene you'll get treated to each time you begin a new scenario, but the rest of the game is made up of terribly basic artwork, if you can call it art; I suppose Touched! can get away with it because of its premise of being a retro-funk-type thing...or whatever. Don't get me wrong, though, the graphics work, but they could have been a whole lot better. The micro-game graphics are, in my opinion, fine as they are, but the skits are made up of 2-D art similar in quality to that seen in Ubisoft's Catz and Dogz titles for the GBA, and I just don't feel that quite cuts it on the DS. The sound and music, at least, fare a bit better, and add both excitement and style to the game.

In the end – in spite of some minor complaints – WarioWare Touched! is a very entertaining, very endearing and extremely funky game for the DS. Much like Feel The Magic / Rub Rabbits, it aims for the gamer with a sense of humor, someone who ogles pink Cadillacs and posters of Marilyn Monroe. It's short but oh-so sweet and you can come back to the scenarios anytime for a quick micro-game fix. Don't look for anything serious or even logical in Touched!, because that's not what this game does well. Just pick it up and play, and you'll be fine.